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The passing of an elderly but notable cat is mourned at the Sellwood Cat Hospital on 13th Avenue

COURTESY OF WENDY STILLWELL - Baker, a longtime front-counter greeter at Sellwoods Cat Hospital of Portland, died in April at the age of 17. At the Cat Hospital of Portland in Sellwood, "Baker" – a large orange tabby cat who greeted clients at the front desk for 15 years – passed away in mid-April. Hospital owner Wendy Stilwell, who said he was 17 years old, told THE BEE, "He developed cancer recently, and went quickly in about two weeks. We really miss him."

According to client Kimberly Koehler, a resident of Eastmoreland, "Baker basically ran the place. In his younger years, he interacted with cats and their people in the lobby. As he got older, he preferred to lounge on his large bed behind the counter, but he still kept an eye on things."

Stilwell agrees. "We called him 'the Manager'," she says. "He and his friend Burt used to spend the night here. We don't know what Burt thinks of the situation yet," she said, wiping away a tear.

The Cat Hospital has set up a memorial video for Baker on Facebook, and he has been cremated. The Cat Hospital, which opened in 2004 at 8065 S.E. 13th Avenue, treats cats exclusively, and is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Stilwell explains, "Our business serves as a non-emergency hospital – offering wellness, treating illness, and providing boarding and grooming services." For more information, go online – www.portlandcats.com – or call 503/235-7005.

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